Magellan Switch Up GPS watch

This GPS watch is designed to record multiple activities and can also measure heart rate, but it's not great

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (1)
  • Buy Now
Magellan Switch Up GPS watch
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    0.50 / 5 (of 1 Review)

Pros

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Usable for multiple activities

Cons

  • Unreliable GPS signal
  • Inaccurate distances
  • Heavy and bulky to wear on the wrist

Bottom Line

While the idea of a multi-sport watch is nice, the Magellan Switch Up GPS watch didn't perform to expectations in our tests. It was uncomfortable to wear, too hard to use and its data had a tendency to be inaccurate.

Would you buy this?

The Magellan Switch Up watch is a device that has been designed to appeal to savvy fitness fanatics in a market that is largely dominated by the likes of Garmin and Polar.

The watch has been designed for users who participate in multi-sport activities, such as triathletes, and is suitable for tracking the performance of running, swimming and cycling activities. The watch can be worn on the wrist and also mounted to the handlebars of a bicycle.

The face of the watch is quite large (21x24 mm), and when it is worn on the arm, it completely spanned the width of this reviewer’s wrist. Although it might seem light at 71g and Magellan says it is a ‘slim design’, it can feel bulky and heavy on the wrist while running, particularly for those with a petite build.

The battery-operated heart rate strap, which is meant to aid in training in a particular heart rate zone and counting calories, ran out of battery quickly after only a couple of uses. It also took several minutes for the watch to sync with the heart rate strap.

Magellan boasts that the watch has been designed to find satellites easily and it has a 'highly sensitive GPS receiver’, but we found it annoying having to stand outside for several minutes waiting for the watch to pick up a signal in an inner Sydney area. When it comes to exercise and running, you want to be able to walk out the door and pretty much go while the motivation strikes.

During runs, the GPS signal was also lost a couple of times, with the watch vibrating to alert us to a lost signal. Again, when you’re out for a run, the last thing you want is a vibration alert breaking you out of any exercise-induced ‘zone’ you’re in and having to stop and wait for the watch to pick up a GPS signal again.

In the pool, the watch was inaccurate with the distance covered, often over-recording how far we swam.

The watch also did not have great functionality and was not easy to use. Although it sends vibrate alerts when signals are lost, it’s not easy to work out how to pause and continue a run. It's possible to accidentally split one run into several ‘laps’ when attempting to pause a run. Although some fitness fanatics might be savvy when it comes to fitness products, when you’re out exercising, you want something simple and easy to use.

With a recommended retail price in line with the more popular Garmin and Polar fitness watches ($329 with the heart rate monitor), Magellan might find it hard going in a crowded GPS watch market with what appears, for us, at least, to be an underperforming product.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Read more on these topics: Magellan, GPS

Kettie

1

Worst purchase i made. I am on third Switch Up after 2months, first watch inaccurate swim distance, then could not download anymore, second watch got water in during first swim, that was replaced with number three, and today after all software upgrades it still measured wrong swim distance, and now I can NOT download to activities on website to analyse!! Poor show Magellan, i should have paid little extra and get Garmin

Rocaroca

2

In the end, this is a GPS watch. And what could be the worst problem for a GPS watch? Lack of accuracy. So this is a big issue for Magellan. And makes it hard to sell, honestly. Add a non atractive design and... not tthe best product in the market.

http://www.reloj-gps.com

Tim

3

Have to agree with the above. I'm an experienced runner and GPS user and have tested quite a few brands/models in my time for running mags. This would have to be the least accurate I've worn so far and a waste of money. One can only hope Magellan take on board the negative feedback and come back with a much better new model, although the horse may have bolted if word gets out how unreliable the Switch and Switch Up are.

Terry

4

Like the above- I am an experienced GPS user and athlete. I am on my second replacement Magellan SwitchUp Pro for which the heart rate monitor now refuses to work- even with a new battery. I have found the device to be inaccurate - plus or minus 200 metres against other Magellans and other brands over even 5k runs. It gives me an elevation change of up to 2 metres when running on a 400 metre track!! The face is huge- but the information displays are too small to read on the fly- especially the end of lap summary, even in broad daylight. So Magellan tell me - bad luck- it's a hardware problem and it's out of warranty. Steering clear of Magellan from now on.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Kettie

0.5

1

Pros
Small , compact, 3 in 1
Cons
Inaccurate, UNRELIABLE
• • •

I am on third Switch Up after 2 months of frustration. First watch inaccurate distance, and stopped downloading to website, second watch(replacement), filled up with water after first swim - busted. Third watch received today had swim , distance measures twice as far, and now i can NOT download activity to website. VERY SUB STANDARD, Should have paid extra and get Garmin.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?